Okay…….so I’m looking for recipes using basil! My go to is always Pesto. It’s great and I make a pretty good one. I’m looking for other ideas!!! This is my second crop this year. I have to say, it’s more gorgeous than the first.

I would love to get some new recipes.  I would also like ideas about what you do with the last of your crop.  You know…uses, storing, preserving, anything at all will be appreciated.

I will post the recipe that is my favorite. It will go in my cookbook and posted on my blog. All of your ideas and thoughts will also be posted. So when you send them to me, add a little about yourself. Tell me where the recipe came from or where it originated. Give me some hints or tips on how you use it. Don’t forget to mention the name of your blog or website. If you wish to remain anonymous, I will respect that too.

So……pull out your favorites and send them to me. I can’t wait to prepare and taste all of them. Looking forward to hearing from you and thanks for reading!

The deadline is October 20th, 2018. The post will be the first week of November.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Viki D




My friend Chris and I love to craft. We also like to drink the occasional glass of wine, talk about cooking, and just have a good laugh. We got together for a crafting, wine drinking, sushi eating, good old time!


She called prior to our get together. “Hey do you want to make a wreath?”  I of course said sure.  She sent me a pic of what she had in mind. So, off to AC Moore I went in search of a wreath form and my ribbon. So many choices to make. Although we had the same picture and instruction, they could not have turned our more differently. Both lovely and pretty enough to hang. I think we did quite well!

This is the wreath Chris made…..


This is the one I made…..


Same project and concept, two different wreaths. There really is no right or wrong way. It depends on your taste and what you want yours to look like.

Mine consists of a wire wreath form and 10 different spools of ribbon. I will warn you, ribbon can be pretty expensive. Look for sales and coupons in your local craft stores. Some stores have bins of ribbon marked down from previous seasons. I used wired ribbon. You could also use deco mesh, also found in craft stores, or on-line.

This is the wreath form I used.


I cut my ribbon into 8 inch lengths.  I strongly encourage you to use a rotary cutter and cutting mat. It makes this part of the project go much faster.


Using the second row from the center I tied the ribbon, alternately, all around until it was the desired fullness. Then using only the sheer ribbon on the very outer ring I alternately tied those colors in. When it is the desired fullness, fluff it out and hang it. Pretty easy!!!

So my Valentine’s wreath is done. You could use this technique literally for any holiday. Maybe you would like to do one for St. Patricks day or Easter. This would also make a nice gift. You could color coordinate for a special room or a specific season. The possibilities are limitless.

I hope you have a wonderful Valentines day. If you decide to make one send me a picture. I would love to see your creation.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo





Barely home from Aruba; one of the best vacations we have had in years. Even though I ended up in convenient care on the Island…….ear infection, uggghhhh. Super Bowl Sunday is here!

Truthfully I was more interested in the commercials until the game got interesting. I don’t personally have anything against Brady. I just thought it would be nice to see someone else win. And win they did! In what was a white knuckle finish, Philadelphia reigns victorious. First super bowl win, ever, too! Congratulations, job well done.

We usually host a large party. Unfortunately just arriving home Saturday curtailed our number of guests. It was still fun and the food was amazing. Everybody brought a dish to pass. I love eating like that. It’s fun to share and taste and it doesn’t put all the burden on one person.

Our menu consisted of Skinny Taste Pasta E Fagioli. Hearty, excellent taste and healthy. We are definitely soup lovers in this household and this one hit a home run. I will definitely be making this one again. Thanks so much Robyne!

(Picture taken from Gina Homolka Skinnytaste Fast and Slow Cookbook)



Buffalo dip and Sloppy Joes were part of our buffet. We also had a nice field green salad with strawberries, pignoli nuts, grilled chicken, goat cheese, and a lovely balsamic honey dressing. I am working on getting the recipe from my daughter for that one. As soon as I do I will post it for you.

I made a Pumpkin Dump Cake. It is so easy and serves a lot of people. It is also one that everybody seems to like. Add some whipped cream and you’re in heaven.


I found this recipe on Pinterest. I had tasted this before at a friend’s house for a luncheon get together. I fell in love with it and so did everyone there. I knew it was a keeper and one that I would use over and over.

Here’s the recipe. I think you will agree with me and keep it in your rotation of desserts too.


  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 29 oz can 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 can 12 oz 2% evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 C melted butter
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C chopped pecans (I used walnuts and it was very tasty)


  1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, evaporated milk, eggs, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
  2. Beat well and pour into a greased 9×13 cake pan.
  3. Sprinkle cake mix over top, followed by chopped nuts of choice.
  4. Pour melted butter over the top.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

These two recipes could become your new favorites too. Check out the cookbook Skinnytaste Fast and Slow. It is excellent: one I use all the time.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

I’m Back…..Air Fried Bagels

I promised myself I was going to write at least twice a week. So far I haven’t been great about it but today prompted me to remember my committment to myself. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year.

I don’t make resolutions because I feel like we should be the best we can be every day. Let’s face it, nobody is perfect! I am striving to be happier and healthier this year. I think that’s a great start.

So on that note…..I am following the new Weight Watchers Freestyle program along with the hubster. I have always loved Weight Watchers because I don’t have to buy special foods. I don’t have to cook something different for guests. I can still go out on occasion and I can still have a cocktail or dessert if I want to. While my daily points have decreased, the number of zero point foods has increased. It’s a learning curve, but we are getting there.

Recently posted was a WW recipe for air fried bagels. They can also be baked. I just happen to own a Cooks Essential air fryer and love it. Really, “everything topped” air fried bagels. I had to give it a whirl. It makes 4 nice sized bagels at 3 points.

So here’s the before air fried pic’s…..


and here’s the after…..


Can I just tell you………YUM. They really were excellent. I will make these over and over again. They were very simple to do. I will, in the future, make them into a thinner rope before shaping them into a bagel. Mine seemed to be a tad doughy. Taste wise, hands down, a great bagel. If you could only see the many possibilities rolling through my brain………..it’s exhausting.

So without further ado, I will post the recipe. Give it a try! Oven or air fried, it was well worth giving it a test run.


  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (make sure it’s not expired)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 C non-fat Greek yogurt that has been strained overnight. (do not use regular yogurt, it will be too sticky)
  • 1 beaten egg, or egg white
  • Toppings of choice (you can purchase “Everything Topping” from King Arthur Flour) or use sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic or onion flakes or make your own everything topping.



  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Place parchment or silpat on a baking sheet. If using parchment spray with oil to avoid sticking.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk well. Add the yogurt and mix with a fork until well combined. It will look like small crumbles.
  3. Lightly dust flour on a work surface and remove dough from the bowl, knead the dough a few times until dough is tacky, but not sticky, about 20 turns. (It should not leave dough on your hand when you pull away).
  4. Divide dough into 4 equal balls. Roll each ball into a 3/4 inch thick rope and join the ends to form a bagel.
  5. Top with egg wash and sprinkle both sides with seasoning of your choice. Bake for 22 minutes in 350F oven then increase to 550F for 4 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.


  1. Pre-heat the air fryer  325F and set for 11-12 minutes.
  2. Repeat steps 2-4 as above for the oven method.
  3. Top with egg wash and sprinkle both sides with seasoning of your choice.
  4. Transfer in batches without overcrowding and bake 12 minutes, or until golden. No turning needed. You can check them at 10 minutes for color.
  5. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

Family Means Everything..

Since our cruise it has been a very hectic time in the Del Grosso household. We returned from a cruise to have Thanksgiving 3 days later. Thanksgiving brought all of our family together which was my in-laws greatest wish. Then on December 2nd we lost one of the greatest men I have ever known.

My father in law passed away on this Saturday in December. Sadly, it was also my sister-in-laws birthday. Our third childs birthday falls on the 3rd of December. This time of year is never easy to lose someone, then again, no time is an easy time.

As soon as we learned of the news we went to be with my mother in law. My sister-in-law immediately flew home from Michigan. Our 2nd child and her husband drove from Baltimore. The other children followed shortly from Michigan to Maryland, and this family was complete. We attempted to surround her and comfort her with all the love we have for both of them. Preparations had to be made!

My husband and his sister and mother had to bear the burden of making arrangements. Pops, as fondly known to our family, was well-loved by many and respected by all. As difficult as it was, people from vast geographic areas had to be given time to pay their respects to this giant of a man.


I love this family and feel so privileged to be a part of it. All of our children could not have been more supportive and thoughtful. The grandchildren were equally impressive in their show of support and love for everyone. I looked around and my heart was so filled with love……..this is my family.

We take so many things for granted in this life. We always think there is going to be time. “I can do that tomorrow” or “I really don’t have time right now”. Truth is, tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone. Consider this encouragement! Make time for the ones you love. Take the time to make that phone call. Include your loved ones in your plans. Say I love you, hold hands, give hugs, share a kiss, and tell people how much you care. One day that won’t be a luxury you have any more.

I would like to tell you how wonderful Pops was to all of us and what he meant. Never an unkind word, always supportive and encouraging, wise in advice. The list goes on and on. Most of all there was unconditional love for all of his family. You knew it without it being said. It was like a big warm blanket that comforted all of us. There will never be another and he will be missed greatly every day.


In closing I would like to thank all of the friends and family that supported us and continue to do so. All of the kindness and caring, and outpour of love made this difficult time a little easier for this family to bear.

Just remember, family is everything! Please hold your’s dearly and keep them close. Make sure they know how much they are loved and needed. Tomorrow will come but today is more important. Make it your mission to live for today.

Respectfully for my father in law “Pops”, til we meet again.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo


My black bean soup recipe, (BLACK BEAN SOUP) , went over extremely well. I acquired some new followers that I have never met, or know. What a fantastic feeling that is! I actually let out a little squeal every time that happens. It’s the best!

It’s popularity did reach someone I know. I like to call Josh our friend, our painter, and a fine musician. He recently became engaged to Anna, also a musician and a songbird. I quickly learned when he was here that he, she, and her son Ethan, love to eat. Both of them also like to cook.

After he saw the black bean soup recipe he said, “you should post a really good pie crust recipe. It’s getting to be that time of year for pot pies.” So, you can thank Josh for this one.

Pie crust, in my opinion, has to be light, flaky, and flavorful. Trust me when I tell you it isn’t hard to make. Believe me when I tell you, just like bread, (EGG BREAD or CHALLAH)   it may take some practice. Look at it this way. If you want to make your own, take the time to learn. If you don’t, Pillsbury makes a mighty fine crust. I don’t deny that I use it when faced with a time crunch.

So, put the butter in the freezer. (I’m not kidding.) Put about a half cup of water in the fridge with ice in it. Assemble the rest of the ingredients and prep your work surface. We are going to make pie crust!!!!!



(makes 2 pie crusts)


  • 2 1/2 C of all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling out (try “King Arthur” flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, placed in the freezer
  • 1/2 C of water with ice placed in the fridge til ready to use


  1. Grate the butter, using the large holes, onto a plate, and place back in the refrigerator.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
  3. With a whisk, mix all together until light and combined. Set aside
  4. Remove the butter and put into the flour mixture, using a fork until just combined. DO NOT OVER MIX.
  5. Starting with 2 Tbsp of the ice water, pour it over the dough and continue to gently combine until the dough holds together. Add more ice water a Tbsp at a time. You should be able to pinch a piece of dough and it will hold together.
  6. Divide the dough in half in the bowl.
  7. At this point pat into a disk. Either roll it out immediately or place each half in a zip lock bag, and place in the fridge for future use, no more than 2 days. If saving for much later, freeze it up to 2 months. Make sure to leave the dough out for a bit when you are ready to use it so it is pliable and doesn’t fight back.
  8. On a large floured surface, (I like to use a wooden board) sprinkle all-purpose flour over the area and place one half of the dough on top of it turning it over once to get flour on both sides.
  9. With a wooden rolling-pin that has been floured (use your hands and pick up some flour and rub over the rolling-pin) roll out into a circle, rolling away from you and turning a quarter turn each time until you reach the desired size. Add additional flour to keep the dough from sticking, but only as needed. *(DO NOT roll out for too long or too many times, it will cause your dough to be tough. The less handled the flakier it’s going to be).
  10. Now fill or use to top your pie, sweet or savory.

Once you get the hang of this you will wonder why you never did it before. Pillsbury ain’t got nothing on you!!!!

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo